Raffi Torres and the National Hockey League Players' Association will appeal the 25-game ban the Phoenix Coyotes forward received for a devastating hit on Chicago's Marian Hossa, the union said on Thursday.

A date for the appeal, to be heard by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, has not been set but the players' union said it will be looking to have the ban reduced, not overturned.

Hossa lay on the ice of Chicago's United Center for several minutes before being taken away on a stretcher. He was released from hospital a few hours later.

The suspension is the most severe punishment handed down by the NHL since New York Islanders forward Chris Simon was given a 30-game ban for stomping on the leg of Jarkko Ruutu in December of 2007.

(Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto; Editing by Frank Pingue)